Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere + Giveaway


The Sky Is EverywhereAuthor: Jandy Nelson
Published: June 7th 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Hardcover, 368 pages
Buy: The Book Depository

A quick note: This review was previously posted on GoodReads and most of you have probably seen it at some point, but I've been rereading parts of this book today and I couldn't resist posting it on my blog. It's one of my favorite books of all time and I hope I'll convince at least some of you to read it. In fact, I'll give away a copy just because I feel like it. Spread the love and all that. 


Each time someone dies, a library burns.

First of all, let me just say that reading this as an ebook is a crime against literature and should be punished as such. The edition I’m holding resembles a diary with its worn cover, wonderful illustrations, little handwritten notes, blue ink and a rubber band holding it all together. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the prettiest book I’ve ever seen. If you can’t get your hands on a paper edition, wait until you do or you’ll be robbing yourself of the most wonderful experience.

Second, I think it’s safe to say that this book isn't for everyone. The mixed reviews have already proven as much. Many of you would probably be severely irritated by this dreamlike experience. Besides, a lot of people find Lennie to be quite unlikeable and I must admit that I can see why. She makes so many horrible mistakes. She is lost, insecure, her actions can often be interpreted as selfish and she is very skilful in telling lies. If that’s all someone can see in her, there’s no reason to even try to like her. But I saw a different layer of her character, one that is confused, scared and alone and it didn’t take long for her to win me over.

I put aside for a moment the fact that I’ve turned into a total strumpet-harlot-trollop-wench-jezebel-tart-harridan-chippy-nymphet because I’ve just realized something incredible. This is it - what all the hoopla is about, what Wuthering Heights is about – it all boils down to this feeling rushing through me in this moment with Joe as our mouths refuse to part. Who knew all this time I was one kiss away from being Cathy and Juliet and Elizabeth Bennet and Lady Chatterley!?

Writing a plot summary or trying to explain The Sky Is Everywhere in any way would probably do more harm than good. If I tried to write about Lennie’s story, about her sister Bailey who died of arrhythmia while rehearsing for the role of Juliet, I’d be running the risk of making this book sound so ordinary. The Sky Is Everywhere is nothing short of extraordinary in every way that counts.

Joe… must I go there?! I’m trying to be an adult here, a serious, calm, respectable adult. But Joe can take that away in a second and turn me into a useless, gushing teenager with his joeliciousness, his musicality, his gentleness, his humor, his boldness and his Frenchness and those damn eyelashes. Bat. Bat. Bat. *swoon*

The secondary characters are just as amazing: the hippie Gram who grows flowers famous for their aphrodisiac powers, the five-times-married-five-times-divorced uncle no woman can resist and the sweet and charming brothers Fontaine. They all had a huge part in making this story so special, so unlike any other story I’ve ever read.

And Jandy Nelson, where on earth did you come from?!? Your writing is like this huge energy ball that found its place in my stomach and just exploded over and over and over again, making me cry, laugh or jump with excitement, turning me into whatever you wanted me to be at that particular moment. You had a remote control for my moods and you weren’t afraid to use it and for that you have my eternal love and respect. Yes, I had a Maggie-sized hole in my heart and yes, I thought you might fill it for a second, but instead I ended up with a Maggie-sized hole and a Jandy-sized hole right next to it. You are nobody’s replacement, lady. You are far too good for that.

I will shut up now and try to preserve some semblance of dignity.

Oh, but I forgot my favorite quote:
This is our story to tell. He says it in his Ten Commandments way and it hits me that way: profoundly. You’d think for all the reading I do, I would have thought about this before, but I haven’t. I’ve never once thought about the interpretative, the storytelling aspect of life, of my life. I always felt like I was in a story, yes, but not like I was the author of it, or like I had any say in its telling whatsoever. You can tell your story any way you damn well please. It’s your solo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

45 comments:

  1. Amazing review, Maja! I haven't seen that cover before but I love how simple it is. I own the version with the giant heart (which I'm not a huge fan of!). Anyway, I haven't read this yet and it sounds like I am seriously missing out. I've heard great things from several people now so I don't have any reason not to read it. I adore your favourite quote. :)

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    1. Oh and I just spotted that you are reading The Storyteller! That book left me in pain... I hope you make it through okay. ;)

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  2. Love your review!!
    My favorite contemporary so far is Anna and the french kiss.. I'm more of the paranormal genre.
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

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  3. Crap this reminds me I need to read this I am sure I would love it, but I have it in ebook and that is just wrong according to you Ao now I must win the giveaway!

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  4. Fav YA contemporary...I don't know maybe Anna and the French Kiss...

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  5. Oh I love your review! My fave are probably Jellicoe Road and The Storyteller! :)
    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  6. Maja, you have clearly gone to Hogwarts because your reviews always seem to bewitch me. Seriously. I loveee reading your reviews and do a happy dance whenever I get an update from your blog, but reading a review of a book you loved? It's easily one of the best things in the world! When you love a book, you TRULY love it with all your heart and soul and that adoration shows through your reviews. I've been putting this book off because of, as you mentioned, all the mixed reviews, but I'm going to definitely buy myself a paperback edition to read soon. Any book that you loved is easily one that I simply haveee to check out! Wonderful, wonderful review, dear! :)

    Also, I hope you feel better soon, Maja! (I saw your Twitter Post...although yes, I suppose I DO stalk you that much!) ;)

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  7. I actually didn't like this book that much the first time I picked it up, but your passionate and enthusiastic review makes me want to scratch my head and think did I even read the same book? Half of the things you adored and mentioned I can't even remember, I must have totally overlooked them the first time around, this is another brilliant review Maja, it definitely makes me want to go and give this book another try, who knows I may even end up liking it the second time around! :)

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  8. I have this in ebook form but I'll delete it immediately!! I love books that go the extra step with special designs.

    And awww, you have me in your heart! ;)

    -Maggie

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    1. Hmm... fave contemporary YA... okay, one that was published this year is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

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  9. I need to read this! I remember seeing this a while ago, but never got to reading it.
    My favorite YA contemporary would have to be Pushing the Limits or Anna and the French Kiss :)

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  10. I've only ever heard great things about this book, but Maja, you're making me really want to read it! It may have to be a library book. Thanks for posting this in-depth, fabulous, and honest review!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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  11. Wow, great review! Even though I don't exactly know what this story's about, it sounds amazing and I just can't wait to read it!
    As for favorite contemporary... one I can think of at the top of my head is Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler. I don't think anyone will love it as much as I did because it was one of those books that felt like it was written just for me. Oh, and I can't forget about Looking for Alaska by John Green. That book just ripped me into a thousand pieces.

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  12. My favorite will be Easy by Tammara Webber :D


    -Dannielle

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  13. My favorite at the moment is Pushing the Limits~ just finished it and it was amazing!

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  14. I've heard great things about this one! I was turned off though because it sounds really sad and like it has a love triangle. I do want to give it a try sometime. Glad to hear the writing is beautiful and emotional. I'll probably be balling.

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  15. I LOVE Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry:)

    Thank you:)

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  16. Thank you for this giveaway! I LOVE Easy by Tammara Webber:)

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  17. THIS IS AN AWESOME REVIEW! I can't fathom liking a character that is so flawed that it's caused some people to dislike the character; yay for you for liking the main character! And I can't wait to read about Joe. <3 He already sounds so amazing. I'm so glad to hear that Jandy's writing is beautiful, another contemporary author to fall for! Lovely review. <33

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  18. OMG This book! THIS book is one of my favourite books EVER! Really, I wouldn't know which one I love most - The sky is everywhere of Saving June. Both are really close to my heart! <3 <3 And beautiful review!!! Love the quotes you've chose!! :) :)

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  19. Before i fall by lauren oliver! :D

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  20. The writing! The eyelashes! Swoon indeed.

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  21. I have tons! Easy by Tammara Webber, Slammed and Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover, What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn, My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron and a lot others. I love contemporary YA books!

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  22. I haven't read much in the way of contemporary, but there's this indienovel, Candid by Michelle Pennington, that got me started in the genre and I've been trying to fit more reads in. Then I stumbled upon Beautiful Disaster and it put a dent in my contemporary-devourer mode (eeek) but... I'm getting there ;)

    Plus, going by your review, I have a feeling that having a fave would be useless: it looks like as soon as I get my hands on The Sky is Everywhere, it'll become my number one!

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  23. Your description of Joe as "joeliciousness" is enough for me to pick this book up. Any character that turns cool Maja into a gushing teenager is worth my read. I WANT this book immediately if not sooner.

    Thanks for the giveaway, love!

    P.S. You're reading The Storyteller? I picked that up thanks to Sam's recommend. It destroyed me, but it was memorable. I can't wait to see what you think. Love the cover on the other book you're reading, very vivid. :)

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  24. My favorite contemporary is on Dublin Street by Samantha Young

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  25. Oh wow, this sounds awesome Maja. Ive seen this book around with its mix reviews. but your amazing review is contagious and I think I should try and read this one. I need to own a copy! :) Great review and I loved the last quote! x

    ✿FICBOOKREVIEWS✿

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  26. The Fault in our Stars...its really fantastic. you will definitely feel all the things! :D

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  27. My copy of this book is nowhere near as fab as yours, Maja. I must find one exactly like yours. I read this book a couple of years ago, I think and I absolutely loved it. I absolutely agree, Lennie is not everyone's cup of tea. I'm not a very forgiving reader but I saw what you saw in Lennie - Joe or without Joe.

    I love the notes that she leaves everywhere - that's my favourite part about this book.

    Lovely review for a lovely book! :)

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  28. Wonderful review, Maja! I've always wanted to read this one. I can't wait to see more of this joeliciousness. :)

    My fave contemporary would be Speechless and Pushing the Limits.

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  29. This book sounds great. Hmm my favorite YA contemporary maybe both books by Stephanie Perkins. Lola and the Boy Next Door is so great written.

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  30. I think my favourite contemporary is probably The Truth About Forever or Anna and the French Kiss. I could probably make it a 10-way tie though. Love Sloppy Firsts too.

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  31. youve completely put me in the mood to revisit this one. i absolutely loved it on my first read. truth be told, i am a smidgen scared to revisit lest i don
    t enjoy it as much the second time around :/

    anyway, i totally concur about the joe thing ;)

    x Nomes

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  32. You really got my attention with this one. I'm putting it on my to-read list right now. Great review! I loved that last quote. Spot on!

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  33. You had me at "This is our story to tell" :)

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  34. Sorry, forgot the important part: my favorite YA contemporary novel is probably Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matsen. :)

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  35. The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

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  36. My favorites are always Sarah Dessen's books. But I Love Him by Amanda Grace is a favorite, too.

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  37. I don't have a favorite contemporary YA, but love everything from John Green and Gayle Forman. Thanks for a giveaway! :)

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  38. Anna and french kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Thanks for giveaway.

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  39. Sarah Dessens books are classics :)

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  40. A truly beautiful, life-affirming story that will make you laugh, cry and leave you smiling :) I loved it! Best suited for 14 and up due to sexual references and minimal drug and alcohol use.

    Mica
    Customer recommendations for Wall NJ maid service information

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